Seventh and eighth grade students at L.B. Morris Elementary recently learned about the dangers of drugs and weapons.

During a special presentation by Jim Thorpe Police Detective Lee Marzen, the group discussed a number of issues the area is facing when it comes to drugs. The presentation was part of a series of events the PROSPER program was doing in the school for National Drug Fact Week.

In addition to the types of drugs, Marzen also spoke about how to stay drug free even if you are being bullied into trying it; as well as gateway drugs, such as cigarettes and alcohol.

The presentation turned into an informative question and answer period, with a number of students asking questions about what drugs are, why are they bad, what is considered a drug; and even focused on other topics such as self defense, gun regulations and bullying.

L.B. Morris vice principal David McAndrew explained that Jim Thorpe Area School District has a zero tolerance weapons policy in place and reminded students that they should never bring a weapon gun, knife or anything that can be a weapon into the school for any reason.

Marzen's goal during the presentation was to reinforce what the students learned during the DARE program a few years ago.

He also brought a display kit that showed types of drugs, as well as paraphernalia that is used for drug purposes.

Jamie Kunkel, one of the organizers for the events at the school, explained that in addition to the program, the school educated the students through a drug quiz, booklet and videos during health class. The students also signed a drug free pledge, which was displayed during the presentation.

Mindy Graver, family living educator at Carbon County Penn State Extension, commended Kunkel and the school for planning the events.

She explained that Penn State Extension has been addressing youth engaging in risky behaviors since 2001 through the PROSPER program. The PROSPER program is overseen by Penn State University.